What We Can Learn About Creativity From The Most-Popular TED Talk Ever
By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
With more than 48 million views (and counting!) Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk 'Do Schools Kill Creativity?' is the most watched TED Talk of all time. It is not just a speech about improving our education system, but also one for all of us to learn more about creativity, and why it is critical for the positive advancement of humanity. Here's the 20 minute video, which includes a clear definition of creativity; and how, in order to realise our own human potential, learn this essential creative quality from children.
Inspiring stuff, right? So....
What Is Creativity And Why Is It So Important?
Many of us will have the typical view that creativity is pretty limited to expressive arts and even judge ourselves that we, therefore, aren't creative. Sir Ken Robinson's clear definition of creativity can help us understand and increasingly appreciate the function of creativity and it's importance in everything we do.
"I define [creativity] as the process of having original ideas that have value."
Although this presentation was given more than 10 years ago, the point that we face an uncertain future still remains true. We have really serious challenging scenarios in our world - that will only get worse if we do not take action. We need to develop our imagination and creative abilities, to pre-empt these challenges and develop effective and lasting solutions.
What Can We Learn From Children About Creativity?
The most creative and imaginative people on this planet are children and here's why...
"...kids will take a chance. If they don't know, they'll have a go. Am I right? They're not frightened of being wrong. I don't mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. What we do know is, if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original — and by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies like this. We stigmatise mistakes. And we're now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities."
The bottom line is, that our levels of creativity correlate to our levels of success. The more creative and imaginative we are, the more we will be able to realise our potential and use our talents - in all aspects of our lives. The starting point for the significant majority of us will be... to look at how we feel about making mistakes, and in order to progress creatively, view any mistakes with a much healthier attitude.